Posted on March 9, 2015 by iMFdirect
By Hamid Faruqee and Andrea Pescatori
(Version in Français)
In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, Canada’s financial system held up remarkably well—making it the envy of its Group of Seven peers. This relative resilience was particularly impressive considering its most important trading and financial partner, the United States, was the epicenter of the crisis.
Part of Canada’s success story lies in the fact that its banking system is dominated by a handful of large players who are well capitalized and have safe, conservative, and profitable business models concentrated in mortgage lending—much of it covered by mortgage insurance and backstopped by the federal government. Notwithstanding such an enviable record and sound financial system, we need to keep an eye on certain financial risks.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic outlook, Economic research, Finance, Financial Crisis, G-20, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Investment | Tagged: bank lending, Canada, financial crisis, house prices, housing, housing market, loan-to-value ratio, mortgages, OECD, oil prices, trade, U.S. | 2 Comments »
Posted on March 4, 2015 by iMFdirect
It’s like the European Union but for East Africa.
In this podcast by the IMF, find out how Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi stand to benefit from the creation of the East African Community. There will be a common currency as well as more trade and investment too. Will a union also expose them to more risk?
Filed under: Africa, Economic research, Government, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Investment, Low-income countries | Tagged: Africa, Burundi, East Africa, interviews, Kenya, podcasts, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 2, 2015 by iMFdirect
By Jeff Hayden
We drew our inspiration for Finance & Development‘s cover from Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry murals at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Rivera, a Mexican artist, was commissioned in 1932 to paint the 27-panel visual epic as a tribute to the city’s assembly-line workers, scientists, doctors, secretaries, and laborers, many of whom were struggling at the time to keep their jobs amid the devastation of the Great Depression.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Asia, Economic outlook, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Employment, Europe, Fiscal policy, Globalization, growth, IMF | Tagged: advanced economies, central banks, economic growth, employment, euro area, F&D, Finance & Development magazine, fiscal policy, forecast, immigration, India, jobs, labor market, Spain, Sub-Saharan Africa, taxes | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 26, 2015 by iMFdirect
By Robert Rennhack and Fabián Valencia
(Versions in Español and Português)
The plunge in world oil prices—from $105 to about $50 per barrel since mid-2014—has been a boon for oil-importing countries, while presenting challenges for oil exporters.
In general, oil importers will enjoy faster growth, lower inflation, and stronger external positions, and most will not encounter any significant fiscal pressures. Oil exporters will tend to face slower growth and weaker external current account balances and some will run into fiscal pressures, since many rely on direct oil-related revenues. One country that stands out is Venezuela, which had been experiencing severe economic imbalances before oil prices began to fall and now finds itself in an even more precarious position.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic outlook, Economic research, Globalization, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Investment, Latin America, Reform | Tagged: barbados, Bolivia, Caribbean, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, energy prices, fuel price subsidy, Guatemala, Latin America, Mexico, oil exporters, oil prices, oil-importing countries, Venezuela | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 25, 2015 by iMFdirect
By Martine Guerguil
Does the European Union need closer fiscal integration, and in particular a stronger fiscal center, to become more resilient to economic shocks? A new IMF book, Designing a European Fiscal Union: Lessons from the Experience of Fiscal Federations, published by Routledge, examines the experience of 13 federal states to help inform the debate on this issue. It analyzes in detail their practices in devolving responsibilities from the subnational to the central level, compares them to those of the European Union, and draws lessons for a possible future fiscal union in Europe.
The book sets out to answer three sets of questions: (1) What is the role of centralized fiscal policies in federations, and hence the size, features, and functions of the central budget? (2) What institutional arrangements are used to coordinate fiscal policy between the federal and subnational levels? (3) What are the links between federal and subnational debt, and how have subnational financing crises been handled, when they occurred?
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic research, Europe, Financial Crisis, Fiscal, Fiscal policy, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Politics, Public debt | Tagged: Austria, Belgium, book launch, Brazil, Canada, debt, euro area, Europe, European Union, fiscal federation, Germany, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, United States | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 23, 2015 by iMFdirect
By Christine Lagarde
(Versions in 中文, Français, 日本語, Русский, عربي and Español)
Leveling the legal playing field for women holds real promise for the world—in both human and economic terms. Unfortunately, that promise remains largely ignored and its potential untapped. In too many countries, too many legal restrictions conspire against women to be economically active—to work.
What can be done to remove these barriers? A new study done by IMF economists seeks to answer that question.
The bottom line? It’s about a fair, level playing field.
Filed under: Africa, Asia, Economic research, Employment, Global Governance, growth, IMF, Inequality, International Monetary Fund, Latin America, Middle East, Reform | Tagged: child care, East Asia, education, Egypt, employment, empowering women, female labor participation, gender wage gap, Japan, Kenya, labor force, labor market, labor regulations, Middle East and North Africa, Namibia, Peru, U.A.E, U.S., women | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 19, 2015 by iMFdirect
By Bergljot Bjørnson Barkbu, S. Pelin Berkmen, and Hanni Schölermann
Investment in the euro area, and particularly private investment, has not recovered since the onset of the global financial crisis.
In fact, the decline in investment has been much more drastic than in other financial crises; and is more in line with the most severe of these crises (see Chart 1). The October 2014 World Economic Outlook showed that many governments cut investment because their finances became strained during the crisis. In addition, housing investment collapsed in some countries, reflecting a natural scaling back after an unsustainable boom. But what is holding back private non-residential investment?
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic Crisis, Economic research, Europe, Financial Crisis, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Investment, Reform | Tagged: banking union, euro area, France, Germany, Greece, investment, Ireland, Italy, monetary policy, Portugal, Spain, structural reform | Leave a comment »